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    Here's How The 50-30-20 Rule Can Help You Make A Budget (That You Might Actually Stick To)

    If you think your budget has to be complicated, think again.

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    Making a budget (and actually sticking to it) is pretty standard financial advice for a reason — it works! But if you're newer to budgeting, figuring out how much you can afford to spend on each category can get kinda tricky.

    If you're not sure where to begin, the 50-30-20 could be a great jumping off point.

    Person making a budget with a calculator, pad of paper, and laptop

    Using this budgeting rule, you'll divide your income into three categories: needs, wants, and goals. Here's how to do it in 4 pretty simple steps:

    circle divided into pie pieces labeled 50% needs, 30% wants, and 20% goals

    Step 1. Figure out how much take-home pay you're earning every month.

    spreadsheet showing income from full time work and side jobs

    Step 2. Make a list of your expenses and divide them into needs, wants, and goals.

    List of expenses divided into the categories needs, wants, and goals

    Step 3. Divide your income into three buckets, putting 50% toward needs, 30% toward wants, and 20% toward your goals.

    Circle broken up into 50% for needs, 30% for wants, and 20% for goals

    Step 4. Add up your expenses in each category, check them against the totals for each bucket, and adjust the percentages if you need to.

    Spreadsheet showing monthly expenses divided into the three categories with a 54-32-14 split

    One great thing about the 50-30-20 rule is that it works with tons of different budgeting tools. Whether you use a budgeting app like Simplifi, plug your numbers into a spreadsheet, or write it out on some scratch paper, it's a super easy framework to help you get started.

    Have you figured out a budgeting system that works for you? Share how you make a budget (and your tricks for sticking to it) in the comments below!

    And for more money tips and tricks, check out the rest of our personal finance posts.